Monday, February 06, 2006

Speaking Of Teeth:

A commentary here about California dentists taking care of their own without regard to some people's dental health. I've always thought it odd that so many dentists support municipal water flouridation since it would seem that, if effective, flouridation would cost them potential patients. This further muddies the waters as they seem to be securing their monopoly.


At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, that article is behind a registration firewall, but here are my two cents. There is no dentist cabal, cartel or whatnot. They can promote a healthy lifestyle to their patients because they will never be hurting for business. Even a cavity-free mouth will gain its fair share of problems due to aging and normal wear. My dentists over the years seemed genuinely disappointed each time a cavity cropped up.

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Well, here's the commentary from today's Sacramento Bee:

"Many important events in state government occur in small rooms away from public view. A case in point: a meeting of the Dental Board of California last month in a South San Francisco hotel.
At that meeting, the board voted 5 to 0 with three abstentions to oppose a bill it previously supported.

The bill, AB 1334 by Assemblyman Simon Salinas, D-Salinas, is in the Senate. It would permit specially trained dental hygienists to clean the teeth of poor children, homebound seniors, the disabled and other people with limited access to dental care - without direct supervision by a dentist and without a prescription.

As a government body, the Dental Board is supposed to represent the interest of the public. Last May, the board voted in the public interest to support AB 1334. At the meeting last month, board members abruptly switched positions. All those present and voting were dentists. The three nondentists on the board were absent. One of them, Kevin Biggers, said the vote change didn't surprise him and that the board "is more concerned with protecting dentists than protecting Californians."

The Salinas bill addresses an oral health crisis: widespread tooth decay among the poor. The ones the bill would help have no health insurance. They live in communities with few if any dentists. Most have never seen a dentist. The choice here isn't between dentists and dental hygienists; it's between dental hygienists and nothing.

The bill got out of the Assembly last week on a close party-line vote, with local Assemblymen Roger Niello, R-Fair Oaks, Alan Nakanishi, R-Lodi, and Tim Leslie, R-Roseville, voting "no." The measure now goes to the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, where the Senate's lone dentist, Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley, sits. Will he vote to protect his fellow dentists or the public?

At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, that was a vote of the dental board... a government entity... not even a union somewhat answerable to its members. When was the last time you were happy with the bulk of what your elected representatives have done?

Second, I suspect there are more issues involved than dental hygienists being independent contractors. I certainly would sleep better at night knowing there is some small measure of oversight.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Fred said...

The Dental Board is made up of practicing dentists, I believe, just like the Barbering and Cosmetology Board is made up of hairdressers, barbers and the like.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

When a state or other government regulates every facet of life, only a new law can address the hardship cases which are created by government in the first place.

Please send 300 kilos of white mice.
No time to explain.


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